It only took a generation or two for the first settlers of Polynesia to spread from their original colonisation site in Tonga, a new study has found.The rapid spread could have been driven by resource depletion and sibling rivalry, says archaeologist Professor Marshall Weisler of the University of Queensland.His crew scratched the name of their ship into a tree.A sperm whale rammed and sank the Nantucket whaleship Essex on 20 November 1820 (a report of which inspired Herman Melville to write Moby-Dick), and the crew arrived at Henderson on 20 December in three small whaleboats.The reasons for the group's disappearance remain unknown, but may relate to the similar disappearance of the Polynesians on Pitcairn Island, on whom the Hendersonians would have depended for many of the basics of life, especially stone for making tools.Captain Henderson of the British East India Company ship Hercules re-discovered the island on 17 January 1819 and named it Henderson Island; and on 2 March 1819 Captain Henry King in the Elizabeth landed on the island to find the king's colours already flying.The final chapter for human settlement of the globe began late in the 2nd millennium BC.
By testing pieces of coral also found there, Weisler used radiocarbon dating to determine that this shrine was used in the 1620s — and most of the sites in this area can be dated between 15 A. All living things are made of carbon, and the process of radiocarbon dating looks at ratios of carbon isotopes, which change over time, said Weisler.
Over the past half century, a substantial volume of archaeological research has been dedicated to the Lapita migration and its implications .
One of the most fundamental concerns - a secure and precise chronology for the Lapita advance and its settlement history - has been a difficult task, given the need to find the earliest archaeological sites in different regions, and to acquire clearly associated and appropriate samples for radiocarbon dating.
The Nukuleka locale is strategically positioned for access to open ocean as well as for inner reef fishing and marine foraging.
This village has been occupied continuously since the initial Lapita settlement phase.